Satisfying wanderlust at home

Old Mill built 1829 by convict labour

“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.” ― Anatole France

My current situation does not allow for extended voyages across the sea to distant shores and yet my wanderlust must be sated.

A powerful desire to journey, to sightsee, to expand and grow saw me wandering my city on a very hot and muggy Sunday morning.  It was 33 degrees celsius and, I swear the  humidity was at 90% at 7am.  It was uncomfortable.  It would have been more sensible to stay at home in air-conditioned ease. I have been accused of being too sensible for so long now that I’m starting to resent the title and so, to spite myself, I went out to follow a trail that would take me to some of the interesting historical sites, churches and shrines in my city.

As an art lover I am as easily captivated by architecture as a painting on a gallery wall. I revel in the juxtaposition of old and new as my mind tries to make sense of history in a modern landscape.  I wonder at the skill and the talent of those who design and then build absorbing edifices.  I marvel at how function and aesthetics combine.

The trail did not take me to previously uncharted territory.  I was familiar with all the streets and lanes I found myself in, though wandering about on foot provides a different perspective from which to view the canvas. You notice things, you can take longer to appreciate the placement of structures in the environment. Being one of very few crazy people out on this particular Sunday, I had many places to myself for the majority of the walk.  What a rare treat in a busy city.

Brisbane was once noted for a particular domestic architecture dominated by timber houses, raised on high stumps with wide verandahs wrapped around the outside to catch the breeze. In contrast, many of the early public buildings were made of stone and brick; a reminder of English origins.  There has been some rapid and interesting changes in the architecture of Brisbane in the last twenty years but my focus on this particular morning was on the quaint buildings, quiet parks, and many charming churches and shrines located at the top end of the city, a hilly location, once a very fashionable residential area, that is now known for its many medical clinics.

Some of the churches were closed, others were filled with worshipers.  To avoid disrupting Mass by taking photographs, I plan to return during the week when, I was assured by church elders, I will be welcome to enjoy the space and take as many photos as I please.  En route I had a lovely conversation with a bus driver who, thinking I was lost, asked if I was visiting the city.  He was surprised to learn I had lived here for over 20 years and then revealed that he too enjoys wandering the city to take in her offerings.  He suggested a public art walk I hadn’t previously been aware of, that is now on my list of ways to satisfy wanderlust between trips.

What hidden gems would your city reveal if you had the time to wander about, on foot, with no other agenda than to absorb and notice? I’d be keen to hear how you satisfy your wanderlust when the itch arises but the timing isn’t right to travel.

Emma Miller Place


9 thoughts on “Satisfying wanderlust at home

  1. Ice variety of philosophies! Do you have anything Buddhist? Hindu? Islamic? Russian Orthodox? Maybe you can squeeze out a few more trips. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. I am sorry this is a bit late Shannyn, I always love your blogs and choose to savour them a little . This one in particular is so lovely because I have a flavour of your lovely city to chew over and it’s been great. Now I shall wander over to google and learn a little bit more about the buildings . All good fun .
    When I lived back in the Midlands we went on a poetry walk around the town of Dudley . I had lived about ten miles from here all my life, and yet on that walk, I discovered architecture I ‘d never seen and learnt things about the town I never knew , and got to write some poetry too

    • Cherry, it is always such a delight to hear from you. 💖💖 It is fun to discover new places or gain a new perspective in a familiar environment. Your poetry walk sounds like a fun way to explore place and poetry.

      I realise now, having read your comment, that you will have a little more of a picture of where I live. A picture can communicate so much. I wonder if you will find any of the buildings on Google. I’m so interested in that idea that I’m going to go do it myself right now.😊👍💖

  3. I love this blog post and it gives such inspo for waderlust at home! You’re lucky to live in such a beautiful place! I’m new to blogging and will be writing a few pieces about the adventures you can do where i live. i would love it if you could check out my blog and follow?


    • Hey Sophie, thank you for reading my small blog and taking the time to leave a comment. It’s very exciting to have another follower, though I must say I have been pretty slack of late. Those words I so wish to write seem to be hiding away somewhere. I look forward to connecting with you more through our blogs.

  4. I love this blog, and it gives such good inspo for wanderlust at home, you’re really luck to be able to live in such a beautiful place! I have just started blogging and plan on writing a few pieces about the adventures that you can do where i live. I would really appreciate it if you could check out my blog and drop a follow?

    Thanks xx

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